By Tim Harfmann
Ryan Tremblay is a talented musician and performed for parishioners at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Belle Harbor, Queens on Sunday, January 20th. His next stop is Panama, where Tremblay will sing for thousands of young pilgrims attending World Youth Day. “I go there on a mission. I go there to inspire; and I go there in hope that through my performance, others can draw closer to the Lord and the Church,” said Tremblay.
This will be the second time Tremblay performs at a World Youth Day. In 2016, he was in Wadowice, Poland — Saint Pope John Paul II’s hometown. Being selected for that celebration is something Tremblay will never forget. “There were over 400 applicants from 60 different countries, and we chose you.’ I was like, ‘wow, that’s amazing!”
Although Tremblay doesn’t expect to meet Pope Francis in Panama, he did encounter him five years ago when the pontiff blessed newlyweds at Saint Peter’s Square. “It was such an amazing experience because he’s such a humble man. He took his time, as I’m sure he’ll do this week at World Youth Day, with everyone he came in contact with. When he approached us, it was no different. He was present to us and only us in that moment; and then I, shamelessly, plugged my first album to him and gave it to him,” said Tremblay.
At Saint Frances de Sales, Tremblay’s performance encouraged the church’s youth group to sing and dance along. “It was really cool to have my friends there and to get involved in the faith in a fun way,” said Hagan Carlin, a member of the parish’s youth group. “You could definitely feel the spirit. They all seemed to be on fire. That was fun to watch,” said Kathleen Woods, the parish’s youth minister. “I thought it was marvelous, uplifting and so spiritual! He’s a wonderful guy and all the guys are great. I feel like I’m on cloud nine!” said Eileen O’Callaghan, a parishioner of the Belle Harbor church.
Tremblay will also perform for the Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Academy students when he returns from Panama on January 29th.